Budget Beat

Oh Comedor Guadalajara, you had us at Hola: Lunch $10 and Under

Let's face it -- here in Phoenix we are fortunate to have an abundance of good Mexican food. This can make deciding where to go to lunch a somewhat daunting task. This week we decided to check out the lunch specials at Comedor Guadalajara and we are so happy we did.

At Comedor Guadalajara the menu features day-of-the-week specials, but there are also daily specials posted on the board. We ordered from these selections on our recent visit. Red snapper fillet lightly fried, with a spinach enchilada, rice, and a nice side of sauteed corn & zucchini, and a well-proportioned chile relleno accompanied by the same set of sided dishes.

When our lunches arrived they were basically giant platters of deliciousness. The chile relleno has become a benchmark, of sorts, for us and the ones at Comedor Guadalajara are very good. They have the right ratio of batter and cheese to balance the chili, and the sauce was delicious.

Before we tackled these, a big bowl of chips and salsa arrived at our table as well as large sodas. Next, came cups of tasty vegetable soup, which come with all Lunch and Daily Special orders. The lunch/daily specials ranged in price from $6.50-$9.00.

The restaurant, family owned and operated since 1968, does a swift lunch business. When we pulled into the parking lot, it was quite full. The décor at Comedor Guadalajara doesn't have any pretensions of "sophistication". Inside, the place is surprisingly large, and the emphasis is on the food.

This is Mexican food like Grandma makes it, in a decidedly casual setting. There is no "mild" salsa on the table, no "lite n' healthy" options on the menu.

The table service is quick and attentive, though there is sometimes a wait to get in (especially during peak lunch hours or on Sunday after Church). When leaving the restaurant, no less than 4 of the friendly staff thanked us for coming. When we mistakenly added an additional double tip, a waiter came running after us to make sure we didn't over-pay. Who does that?

Yes, to pick a favorite Mexican food restaurant would be a very difficult task. That said -- our short list definitely includes Comedor Guadalajara.

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Sativa Peterson
Contact: Sativa Peterson